Injuries rule out Brownlee’s 10,000m dream

Leeds's Alistair Brownlee.
Leeds's Alistair Brownlee.
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Olympic triathlon champion Alistair Brownlee has given up on his hopes of running the 10,000 metres at the Commonwealth Games this summer.

The 26-year-old announced after winning his gold at London 2012 that he was thinking of trying to double up in Glasgow.

But injury struggles over the winter mean the Leeds athlete will instead concentrate purely on the triathlon at the Games as well as trying to win a third world triathlon title.

“I had intended originally to aim for the 10,000m on the track in Glasgow but that’s off for me now,” wrote Brownlee in a newspaper column.

“I really wanted to do the qualifying race in London next weekend but the timescale just doesn’t work for me.

“It has made me realise that the focus, for now anyway, has to be triathlon.”

Brownlee ran a 10,000m time of 29 minutes and seven seconds in winning Olympic triathlon gold, having already completed a 1,500m swim and cycled 40 kilometres.

In a 10,000m race last year he ran a time of 28mins 32secs, 22 seconds outside England Athletics’ B standard for the Commonwealth Games.

Brownlee has been dogged by injuries and saw his bid for another world title over the Olympic course in London’s Hyde Park last September ended by a persistent ankle problem.

It has continued to trouble him over the winter while he had to miss his scheduled first world triathlon series race of the season in Cape Town last weekend with a minor calf strain.

He is now hoping to compete at the next round in Yokohama later this month, but has plenty of ground to make up on reigning world champion Javier Gomez, who has won the first two races, beating his brother Jonny on both occasions.

Brownlee had said after last year’s Hyde Park race that he may not be able to compete in enough races to challenge for the world title because of the strain on his body.

But he now appears confident that is possible.

He said: “I’ve had a very mixed last six months if I’m being honest and I don’t want to jeopardise my comeback as I look to regain the world championship crown.

“I’m under no illusions as to how difficult it will be this season with Gomez in the sort of form he’s in, having won the opening two races.

“He is as strong as ever, nothing’s changed there, and the challenges remain the same as last year.

“I see the title being between Gomez, Jonny and myself, although my brother has not performed anywhere near as well as he can so far.

“I hope we can both get better as the year goes on.”